Captain Eva Toffoloni ’15 hovered just outside the crease and quickly sent the ball flying past a Choate defender towards Ashley Tucker ’18, who tapped it into the back of the net. Thanks to their efforts, Andover Field Hockey finished 3-1 over Choate on Sunday.
Adding to Sunday’s victory, Andover continued its undefeated season this week with a 4-2 win over Milton on Wednesday.
At Choate, Andover’s consistency on defense played a crucial role in the team’s success. Tight defense allowed the offense to stretch the field with outlet passes.
“The defense had really good strong hits out of the circle up to the forwards,” said Kat Toffoloni ’15.
“When our defenders got the ball in our defensive end, they just sent it up the field really quickly, which gave us some good [offensive] chances,” added Tucker.
As in the past two games, Andover’s complex passing sequences and its fast breaks were the most important factors for its offensive production.
“When we scored in those brief moments, the passing was really good,” said Eliza Quigley ’15.
Despite the win, the team acknowledged that its performance against Choate left much to be desired.
“We had some moments where we did play well, but I don’t think it was our best effort or game ever. They just worked harder than us,” said Lexi Davidson ’17.
Andover also frequently found itself behind the pace of play during the game.
“We’ve been slow lately. I don’t really know what the cause of the lag is, but it’s something we’ve been working on in practice,” added Kelly McCarthy ’16. “The good thing is that we haven’t suffered a loss yet from that.”
The efforts to intensify practice paid off, as Andover brought a new level of energy to the Milton game.
“Everything [on Wednesday] was an improvement,” said Anna Fucillo ’15. “We hustled and worked a lot better as a team, working to make some great passing sequences down the field.”
After being outworked by Choate, Andover made sure to go the extra mile against Milton, especially on its defensive half of the field.
“We improved on running to the ball, intercepting the ball and pressuring the ball,” added Lila Dolan ’15.
Although Milton scored the first goal, Andover remained patient with the ball and waited for scoring opportunities.
“The kids didn’t panic, and they just kept playing hard,” said Head Coach Kate Dolan.
Beth Krikorian ’17 said, “Even when they scored first, we didn’t let up and proceeded to score four consecutive goals. Our energy was there when we needed it most.”
Andover maintained its momentum for the rest of the game. Although Milton scored a second goal, Andover closed out the game to preserve its undefeated record.
“Our strength was just being aggressive, beating them to the ball and being more aggressive offensively and defensively,” said Lila Dolan. “I think we did our best playing as a team. When the team works together as a unit and we pass together and we play defense together, we do better.”
Andover hopes to continue its winning streak against St. Paul’s on Saturday.